HS Volleyball: Lady Grizzlies Complete Their Program Sweep of Oak Ridge

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 10/10/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Grand Oaks Lady Grizzlies (39-1) completed their program sweep of the rival Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles (28-11) with the second edition of the Battle of the Oaks.

The Lady Grizzlies entered the match hoping to continue their unbeaten streak during district play. The streak has spanned since district play opened up in August and has seen Grand Oaks drop zero sets throughout that time.

In an exclusive interview with The Woodlands Online Sports, Grand Oaks Head Coach Morgan Rogers spoke on how her team has handled the underwritten pressure of the streak.

“I think that the pressure is there,” said Rogers. “We had a discussion last week as a team just trying to not think about the rankings.”

With the rankings out of mind, the Lady Grizzlies set to work in the opening set. The success of the Grand Oaks hitters came early, with outside hitters Halle Thompson and Samara Coleman placing hits in between defenders with force.

The efficient hitting allowed Grand Oaks to build a lead midway through the set, reaching as high as 10 points. Oak Ridge responded to the lead with a timeout that cut off the momentum the Lady Grizzlies had built. Afterward, the Lady War Eagles mounted a minor comeback that came four points within tying the set. But the offensive power of the Lady Grizzlies proved to be too much, allowing them to take the set 25-19.

Grand Oaks kept up the pressure in the second set with another series of powerful hits. The Lady War Eagles battled, even briefly holding a three-point lead in the early going. The lead did not last long as the Lady Grizzlies made the necessary adjustments on the fly.

“We are just trying to make people play our pace,” said Rogers. “Halle getting out there and speeding up the game did a good job of that for us.”

With veteran leaders dotted all over the floor, the Lady Grizzlies stayed in the driver’s seat throughout the remainder of the second set. The lead ballooned as high as 13 points before the set ended, behind another demonstrative effort from the Grand Oaks squad. The set ended with Grand Oaks winning 25-12, forcing Oak Ridge into desperation mode.

Oak Ridge began the set with a flurry of points that highlighted the team’s ability to hang with their opponents. Long volleys and stingy defense kept the Lady War Eagles within reach of tying throughout half of the set.

“I knew they would not give up,” said Rogers on Oak Ridge.”They do not care who they are playing, they are going to play Oak Ridge volleyball, and that is going to be tough.”

Grand Oaks responded with methodical play that did not see them sustain long runs, instead, the team built small runs of two and three points apiece that steadily built distance against the Lady War Eagles. This distance culminated in a 25-17 victory that completed the straight-set sweep.

With another win secured, the focus of the Grand Oaks team now lies on themselves rather than the uncontrollable elements around them.

“We are getting towards the end, and so we are thinking bigger picture,” said Rogers. “Instead, we need to think small and what’s going on and who we have in our opponent.”

The Lady War Eagles will look to bounce back quickly against the Cleveland Lady Indians on Friday, as the Lady Grizzlies aim to remain unbeaten in district, with their next opponent being New Caney.

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